Local Search Group's Blog

2nd Annual Top Texas Dealership Website Award Nominations

Posted by on March 5th, 2014

Jim Flint Written by Jim Flint, President & Founder

In today’s modern world, a car buyer’s first interaction with a dealership is typically online.  We want to acknowledge dealerships who help simplify the car-buying process with an effective, clear, fun, and manageable website!!

Top Texas Dealer Website Awards - Local Search GroupOn April 16th we will recognize the top Texas dealership websites based on the determination of a panel charged with identifying the best design, content, and technology available in today’s market.

If you would like to nominate a dealership for this award, please send an email to nominations@localsearchgroup.com with the dealership name(s) and URL.  Nominations will be accepted until March 31st.

These sites will be reviewed and ranked based on the following criteria: Content, Structure and Navigation, Visual Design, Functionality, Interactivity, and Overall Experience.

A panel of Texas Auto Writers, Technology Experts, and End Users will use these criteria to score each nominated website.  The top 10 winners will receive a plaque and be featured in numerous online publications for being a forward-thinking dealership in Texas.

Send in your nominations today for the 2nd Annual Top Texas Dealer Website Awards to nominations@localsearchgroup.comand click here for the list of last year’s winners!

Dealership Website Award Nominations

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9 Things You Should Know About Automotive SEO in 2014

Posted by on February 25th, 2014

Brett Hanley By Brett Hanley, Content Creation Specialist

What works in terms of SEO is constantly evolving, and it can definitely be difficult to keep track of everything you need to know. If your dealership is trying to grasp the essentials of what does and doesn’t work to improve your site’s rankings this year, we want to help. Here are nine things you should know about the current state of SEO:

Google Hummingbird1. The Hummingbird update is in full effect. It improves how Google handles long-tail keyword searches, allowing the search engine to better interpret the meaning of an overall query and better handle voice queries from mobile devices. The update makes ranking for specific key phrases less important and answering web users’ questions with your content more important. Thanks to Hummingbird, Google is better able to offer search results that provide the most value and relevance to users.

2. Guest posting could hurt your site’s performance in Google’s search results. Matt Cutts and Google have taken an official stance on guest posting and are encouraging site owners to avoid it altogether if they’re doing it to get backlinks, even if they aren’t doing it aggressively. Guest post at your own risk!

Content Authorship3. Content authorship could give your blog a boost. Linking your blog articles to your Google+ profile and establishing a credible online presence through Google authorship could help your content rank more prominently. Building your online presence through other social media channels could also ultimately help how well your site performs in Google’s SERPs.

4. Google is taking a closer look at sites penalized by Panda. They’re taking the time to manually review sites penalized during Panda updates to make sure they weren’t erroneously downgraded in search results for duplicating content in a legitimate, honest way.

Mobile Is Big5. Mobile is kind of a big deal. SEO pros have been saying it for years, but now optimizing for mobile users is even more important than ever. Mobile-optimized sites will ultimately fare better in search results and provide a better, more appealing overall experience for your target market. Keep in mind that mobile search volume has surpassed desktop search volume in a number of countries, and experts predict this trend will continue internationally.

6. Penguin updates still matter. Paid links and spammy, irrelevant links are still on Google’s radar. Acquiring links on sites that aren’t related to your niche, paying for links, participating in elaborate link building schemes, and excessively posting links to your site on directories and forums could hurt you. Your best bet is to earn links by providing something of value that people want to share.

Organic vs Paid Ads7. Google can now spot paid ads built to look like organic content. These ads don’t violate any of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, but Google’s going to start treating them as paid ads, which means they’ll rank lower than content that’s truly organic.

8. Optimizing rich snippets is still a viable strategy. Just don’t expect it to work miracles for your site. Google is actually starting to penalize sites that abuse this SEO tactic. So, it’s best to avoid including false or misleading information in your snippets.

Autofill Form9. Google recommends adding auto-complete functionality to your forms. The search engine giant now suggests that Webmasters add auto-complete functionality to their forms to make things a little easier for web users. Remember that subtle changes like this that improve the overall experience your website offers to its visitors can ultimately make a big difference in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Need help with your content strategy or website optimization? Our expert team is at your service! Contact us today to get the conversation started!

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Five Reasons Why Someone Might Not Be a Good Local Search Group Employee

Posted by on February 13th, 2014

bethany Written by Bethany Leftwich, Office Coordinator

Sometimes it isn’t just about what you are.  It’s what you aren’t.  Five reasons why you might not be a great fit as a Local Search Group (LSG) employee are detailed below.

Winners1) You’re comfortable with losing

You put some work into maintaining accounts or following leads, but there’s no sweat on your brow if a client is upset enough to cancel, or if a lead falls through.  You think that you did all the work necessary and you move on.  Difficult clients should be treated with the same care and respect as more amicable clients.  Our clients depend on our services to sell cars.  Losing is not an option.

2) You don’t care about carsChoose-Cars

Maybe a car is just a ride to and from work to you.  If you didn’t need a car, you wouldn’t have one.  You certainly can’t tell the difference between a Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit and a Jeep Cherokee Limited.  If you don’t care about cars, how can you work for a company who makes it their business to care enough about cars to actually help dealers sell them?

If you don’t care about cars, how can you write convincing blogs about the new 2015 Kia K900 or create eye-catching PPC ads featuring the all-new Ford Mustang or F-150?  Most importantly, if you don’t care about cars, how can a dealer trust that you put your best work into ensuring that their digital advertising is topnotch? LSG employees who don’t care about cars are quite simply not LSG employees.

quotes-on-changeF3) You hate change

The world of digital marketing is changing every day, as is true for any new industry.  The rules for Google and Facebook must be monitored and changes must be made to our services as necessary.  Change in the form of innovation on part of the company is not only encouraged–but required. The best digital marketing companies are leaders in innovation.  If you are reluctant or even opposed to change, LSG is not the place for you.

4) You have thin skin_stay_strong_png_by_brendugomezeditions-d51ycrv

Our clients are car dealers, some of whom pride themselves on their strong personalities.  They are very protective of their businesses and they know how competitive the market is.  They do not place their trust in others lightly.  As a digital marketing company for the automotive industry, it is our job to honor that trust and understand the dealer’s needs.  We do not let demanding personalities get under our skin and affect our promise to our clients. If you don’t handle strong personalities well, you will not do well as an LSG employee.

writer5) You cannot communicate effectively 

You didn’t enjoy writing papers in school and you dreaded written examinations.  You also hated getting in front of the class and presenting a project for fear of what others might think.  As a Local Search Group employee, your life will revolve around both written and oral communication. Your writing is what car buyers will see on our client’s webpages.  LSG will depend on your oral presentation skills to effectively communicate our services to both prospective and current clients. Efficient digital marketing companies cannot function without the best in both oral and written communication.

If these values are important to you as well and you’d like to know more about what makes a great Local Search Group employee, check out the job descriptions for the positions we have available today!

Local Search Group Careers

Local Search Group: We Speak Auto.

Posted by on February 4th, 2014

The world of automotive marketing can be difficult to translate at times.  At Local Search Group we speak the language.  Try your hand at deciphering the auto lingo in our new “We Speak Auto” commercial, featuring Local Search Group’s VP of Sales Laura Davis, then take the “I Speak Auto” quiz by clicking on the button below for a full translation.

I Speak Auto Quiz


To Talk Auto Marketing with Local Search Group, Contact Us Today!


Local Search Group Speaks Auto


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Local Search Group Receives Dealer Satisfaction Award from DrivingSales

Posted by on January 24th, 2014


Ranked #1 in Dealer Satisfaction, Local Search Group wins award in Highest Rated SEM – PPC Category

Houston, Texas – January 24, 2014 – Local Search Group has received the “Highest Rated” SEM – PPC Award in the fifth annual DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards, presented at a special event today in conjunction with the 2014 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo.  Local Search Group received the highest dealer satisfaction ranking in the SEM – PPC category for the second year in a row, as determined by the thousands of auto dealers who are part of the DrivingSales.com community.

“Local Search Group proudly accepts the ‘Highest Rated’ SEM – PPC Award for the second year in a row from Driving Sales,” said Jim Flint, Founder and President of Local Search Group.  “This award means a lot to us because it is for dealers by dealers.”

Local Search Group develops automotive PPC and SEM campaigns personalized to promote specific dealerships and their current inventory.  Their custom campaigns and attention to detail grant dealers the ability to select the makes, models and markets that matter most.

Using advanced targeting techniques and sophisticated software, Local Search Group reaches customers more frequently, more consistently and more precisely than anyone in the business.

“We congratulate Local Search Group on receiving the ‘Highest Rated’ SEM – PPC Award, an accolade we consider to be one of our industry’s most important because it comes directly from dealers,” said DrivingSales CEO and Founder Jared Hamilton. “In our fifth year of presenting these awards, we feel especially proud that DrivingSales Vendor Ratings continues to help dealers make smart and informed decisions through thousands of peer reviews that lead them to outstanding service providers such as Local Search Group.  We congratulate Local Search Group on being recognized as one of the best-of-the-best by the people to whom their services count the most: the dealer community.”

The DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards measure dealer satisfaction with vendor products and services, and are based on cumulative ratings tallied and verified over the calendar year (January – December) at DrivingSales.com Vendor Ratings.  DrivingSales.com Vendor Ratings is the industry’s only neutral, comprehensive vendor rating forum featuring real-time peer reviews and honest competitor comparisons, and provides dealerships with important information from actual customers who have hands-on experience using vendor products / solutions in their stores. Each rating is verified as coming from an actual dealership employee.

Full award results are available online at http://dealersatisfactionawards.com/. Award winners are showcased in the Q1 2014 issue of the DrivingSales Dealership Innovation Guide which, in addition to being distributed at the 2014 NADA Convention and Expo, is delivered to every new car dealership nationwide, as well as to the top 100 used car dealerships. For more information on the Dealership Innovation Guide, please visit: http://drivingsalesinnovationguide.com/.


Local Search Group provides custom solutions for marketing in the 21st century to automotive dealerships. The company’s understanding of the automotive industry’s unique sales and marketing operations drives advertising solutions that show real-time, bottom-line results.  With nationwide association and retail automotive clients, Local Search Group continues to deliver comprehensive, integrated digital marketing plans that incorporate the latest in technology from the automotive industry as well as from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and Twitter.  To receive your no cost digital consultation, please connect with Local Search Group through our website (www.localsearchgroup.com) or call us at 713.493.7735.

About DrivingSales

DrivingSales is a professional network serving the auto industry with dealer-driven news and information, online training, and performance data, all to enable dealers to make critical business decisions at their dealerships.  DrivingSales’ mission is to connect progressive dealership professionals to the people and information they need to maximize their success.  Founded by a third-generation car dealer, and opened up to the industry in 2008, today DrivingSales has registered users in over 50% of new car dealerships in the US and is active in several other countries around the globe.  To learn more about the DrivingSales community, training or performance analytics visit DrivingSales.com, DrivingSalesUniversity.com and DrivingSalesData.com

Local Search Group Media Relations:
Lizzie Campbell (lizzie@localsearchgroup.com), Local Search Group, 713.493.2521

DrivingSales Media Relations:
Melanie Webber (melanie@mwebbcom.com), mWEBB Communications, 949.307.1723

Be the Bird that’s Heard: An All-New Way to Build a Twitter Following for Automotive Retailers

Posted by on January 21st, 2014

Jim Flint Written by Jim Flint, President and Founder

Many dealers I talk to today have a handle on Facebook, but with the excitement generated by the recent IPO of Twitter and the corresponding enhancements to their products–especially their advertising products–many car guys want to know how they can grow their Twitter Followers faster.

To offset some the difficulties of having a limited audience, Twitter recently launched an all-new enhancement to their Promoted Accounts product.

Why should you care?  Well according to Twitter:

  • 72% of consumers say that they are more likely to make a future purchase from brands they follow or engage with on Twitter
  • 76% of Twitter users access Twitter on their mobile device

The new announcement details how businesses can display account recommendations on iOS and Android devices so that locally relevant customers can get tied into the right Twitter feeds–namely yours.  These recommendations leverage Tweets as a call to action and display within the home timeline for the prospective customers.  For example, your dealership could run a geo-targeted Promoted Accounts campaign to build awareness about your inventory and specials, and explain why users (aka potential car buyers) should follow you on Twitter.  The image below shows a Promoted Account campaign from the Houston Auto Show Twitter account.

Promoted Account Post

Worth noting, if you’re running a Promoted Accounts campaign, you will only be charged when a user follows your account.  New followers can see your message when you Tweet anytime in the future at no additional charge.

Promoted Accounts in timeline

To take advantage of these improvements and be the bird whose tweets are heard, contact a Local Search Group Account Director, or contact us directly to start growing your Twitter following today!

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Our Top 13 Blogs of 2013

Posted by on December 29th, 2013

Jim Flint Written by Jim Flint, President & Founder

To get your unfair share of next year’s business, take a look at the changes in the automotive digital market that we documented throughout this past year.  Our top blog articles from 2013 (according to our dealer community) are listed below, which include valuable tools and information for going into the new year with record breaking sales close at hand.

New Year

13.  Automotive PPC, Conquest Campaigns, and Your Dealership: An Interview with Jim Flint
AJ LeBlanc, co-founder of Car-Mercial.com, sits down with Jim Flint and conducts an interview regarding conquest campaigns.

12.  LSG’s Automotive Facebook Ads Featured in FB Case Study
Local Search Group’s work with Honda Cars of Katy was featured in a Facebook case study that highlights the success the dealership has found through its partnership with Local Search Group and its innovative use of automotive Facebook ads targeting the store’s ideal shoppers.

11.  Our New Office Move
On Wednesday, August 28th we officially moved in to our gorgeous new office space!

10.  Facebook Life Events – I Bought A New Car!
A guide for your buyers to use on how to post a new “Life Event ” on Facebook about buying their beautiful new car.

9.  The Big Three Team Up: Facebook, Google, and Apple
Is it time to plan this year’s April Fool’s joke?

8.  How to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Don’t be misled by the rumors; email marketing is not a dead medium.  92% of Internet users use email on a daily basis and it accounts for nearly 20% of their time online. 

7.  The True Measure of Automotive Digital Marketing
Cost Per Vehicle Display Page (VDP) is the new metric in automotive digital marketing that all dealers should consider in the management and development of their online automotive marketing.

6.  Master Automotive Digital Marketing with Memes
Staying ahead of the curve in automotive digital marketing, focusing on emerging technology such as pre-roll videomobile pay-per-click, and Facebook advertising is a necessity in this industry. 

5.  Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns
Trying to stay one step ahead of all the Google changes is impossible, but being ready for that change and adapting to it is your dealership’s best bet to stay current and relevant.

4.  The $50 Click: Big Changes Coming to Automotive PPC
Google Enhanced Campaigns brings automotive pay-per-click (PPC) inflation to the table in new and unimagined ways.

3.  The Adventures of a Digital Marketing Company at SXSW
LSG heads to Austin and the SXSW Interactive Conference to soak up the latest and greatest in the digital sphere, and came back to the office with some great new ideas.

2.  The Top 8 Traits and Habits of Great Account Managers
What makes a great account manager?  Better yet, what makes a great automotive account manager?

1.  The Top 10 Texas Dealer Sites Announced
The top ten rated dealership websites in the Lone Star State announced.

We hope these articles are helpful to you in planning your dealership’s success in the new year.  2013 was a ground-breaking year for Local Search Group, and we hope to continue to enable your dealership to break sales records  in 2014.  Happy New Year to you and yours!

New Year 2014

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Jim Flint and DealersEdge Present Live Webinar in January

Posted by on December 17th, 2013

Jim Flint

Local Search Group’s own Jim Flint is teaming up with DealersEdge in order to present a live Webinar on Thursday January 23 at 12pm Central and 10am Pacific – don’t miss it, sign up here!

Topic:  How to “Moneyball” Your Advertising Strategy for 2014  - A Method for Getting More from Your Dealership’s Advertising Dollars

Today’s car shoppers have a hard time making a decision and are increasingly reluctant to submit an online lead to a dealership.  Jim Flint’s “Moneyball” workshop will help you navigate the complex digital marketing arena and learn where to allocate your advertising funds to best drive new and used vehicle sales.

You Will Learn:

  • A more effective process for prioritizing you ad spending
  • Ideas for increasing “your name” bids by as much as 900%
  • How your dealership can benefit from the online shopping phenomenon of “showrooming”
  • How “Moneyball Math” can produce dramatically higher ROI in advertising

Sign up today for this informative webinar – a great way to kick off 2014 right!


The Top 8 Traits & Habits of Great Account Managers

Posted by on December 6th, 2013

Julie Saathoff


Written by Julie Saathoff, Director of National Account Management

What makes a great account manager?  Better yet, what makes a great automotive account manager?  It takes a special type of person to deliver support for our automotive clients.  Here are the top eight traits you should look for with your account manager from your automotive digital marketing vendor.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 4.05.16 PMWe Speak Our Clients’ Language - We know our customers’ business.  Here at Local Search Group, we’re fluent in automotive, digital, dealer, sales ops and marketing speak.

Big Picture Planning with Some Fire-Fighting Skills - We know how to build a strategy while also handling the day-to-day (including calmly putting out fires).

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 4.08.20 PMGreat Communication & Great Connection - We are responsive.  We get back to our dealers ASAP and keep them up to date on our progress.  Sometimes we just call to say hello.

Straight from the Start - We set reasonable & clear expectations.  We provide the reporting needed to measure our progress & results.  It tells a story – and we know how to read it.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 4.10.20 PMInvestment in Educating - We recognize our clients’ understanding of digital and share our knowledge in a way that meets their style.  We provide the needed expertise in our field – to their specific needs.  We’re all constantly learning.

Foresight & Anticipating Needs - We offer real & timely solutions to right-now issues and plan how to prevent them in the future.  We don’t stop at identifying problems – we proactively prevent and overcome them.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 4.11.49 PMSorry, I’m Not Sorry - Our success = our clients’ success.  Our job as digital experts is to bring the best, even when that means a tough yet frank conversation.  We give great advice – and own it.

Gosh Darn It, People Like Us – We build and foster solid relationships with our clients, becoming trusted resources.  We care about their business.  We’re invested!

To learn more about how Local Search Group’s rock star account managers can make your dealership marketing a breeze, contact us today!

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Black Friday: Is Your Dealership Digitally Ready?

Posted by on November 26th, 2013

Jim Flint Written by Jim Flint, President & Founder

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and it’s just a few days away.  Here’s a checklist to ensure that your dealership is digitally ready to move more cars than ever this Friday.

checkbox ____  Specials Pages 

-Are your Specials webpages updated?  Does your page header feature the Infiniti Limited Engagement Winter Event image and info?

-Are your salespeople aware of your Black Friday promotions?  Are your people prepared to talk to the offers involved in the Ford Year End Sale?

Black Friday____ Mobile

-Are your mobile apps updated with Black Friday specials?  Do your mobile apps feature the Happy Honda Days clearance event?

-How about on the mobile version of your website?  Is your Dodge dealership’s mobile site featuring mobile-friendly images of the highly successful Anchorman + Durango campaign?

Black Friday Check List

____ Social Media

-Do you have updates ready to go out informing your audience about your Black Friday specials?  Are you encouraging your patrons to participate in “Kia Road Trip Bingo Thanksgiving Edition”?

-Are you paying to promote these posts on Facebook and Twitter to reach a larger audience?  Are you targeting appropriate and popular hashtags such as #NissanHeismanVote?

Black Friday____ Online Ads

-Have you created a custom Black Friday campaign for Google ads, Facebook ads, and Twitter ads?  Are you featuring “2013 Toyotathon Specials” on your paid ad titles?

-Do you have a preroll campaign ready to go for YouTube ads?  Are ads for your Maserati dealership playing before every Ghibli comparison video?

-Is your remarketing code in place to ensure that your ads follow your web visitors around, leaving you top of mind?

-Have you enhanced your Google ads using extensions to give customers more reasons to click on your ad?

 For help getting your dealership’s Black Friday checklist completed or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Local Search Group.  Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



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